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Latest Kyoto projections predict NZ surplus

Latest Kyoto projections predict NZ surplus

Climate Change Minister Nick Smith today released New Zealand’s latest net position report under the Kyoto Protocol which projects greenhouse gas emissions and removals through to 2012.

“The projected position has improved slightly from a surplus of 9.6 million tonnes to 11.4 million tonnes, or at today’s carbon price of NZ$20.29, an improved surplus from $194 million to $231 million,” Dr Smith said.

“The small improvement in New Zealand’s projected surplus over the past year is due to lower agricultural emissions from the ongoing impacts of drought in some regions. There have also been updated figures on forest removals due to improved information from the Land Use and Carbon Accounting System (LUCAS).

“I am still quite cautious of these estimates as they are based on projections of future emissions. The actual position will not be known until after the first commitment period ends in 2012.

“These projections include the estimated effects of the modified emissions trading scheme. New Zealand would face a deficit of 22 million tonnes or $446 million without the ETS.

“New Zealand’s Kyoto commitment is to stabilise net emissions between 2008 and 2012 at 1990 levels. The only reason New Zealand is in surplus is because the growth of post-1989 forests is more than offsetting the 23% increase in gross emissions.

“It is important to recognise that although New Zealand’s net position is a surplus, this is not the Government’s position. Post-1989 foresters are eligible to claim credits for their trees and, as a consequence, the Government will face a substantial deficit. The impacts of these latest projections on the Government’s deficit will be assessed as part of the 2010 Budget.”

The Net Position Report is available from the Ministry for the Environment at

Dr Smith also welcomed the release yesterday of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, the official account of New Zealand’s emissions up to 2008.

The Greenhouse Gas Inventory is available at


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